NATO Crisis Worsens in Split over the Defence of Turkey
Hughes, David, Daily Mail (London)
Byline: DAVID HUGHES
THE worst crisis in Nato's history deepened yesterday as France, Germany and Belgium refused to lift their veto of U.S.backed plans to defend Turkey against Iraqi missile attack.
During amazing scenes at the alliance's Brussels HQ, two emergency meetings were arranged then postponed.
When the 19 members finally got together last night they broke up without agreement after just 20 minutes.
They will meet again this morning in a bid to break the deadlock after diplomats worked through the night trying to broker a deal.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told a Congressional hearing yesterday that Nato was breaking up because member countries were failing to meet their duties.
Responding to suggestions that the U.S. is putting its international alliances in jeopardy over Iraq, Powell said: 'Who's breaking up the By David Hughes alliance? Not the United States. The alliance is breaking itself up because it will not meet its responsibilities.' Powell noted that while 'much is being said about disagreement in Nato', 16 members backed the U.S.
position, compared to three u France, Germany and Russia u who opposed it.
'I hope Nato will be doing the right thing with respect to Turkey within the next 24 hours,' he added.
But the fiasco has already plunged relations between Washington and the Paris-Berlin axis to a new low.
Britain came down strongly on the side of the U.S.
yesterday as Jack Straw rejected the demands of the French and Germans that Saddam Hussein be given more time to disarm.
The Foreign Secretary said even a thousand-fold increase in the number of UN inspectors could not eliminate Iraq's arsenal of mass destruction. …